NAFDAC Warns against Usage of Counterfeit Meronem in Circulation

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Meronem – Photo credit: Shop Apotheke

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has alerted healthcare professionals and the general public on a batch of counterfeit Meronem discovered in Nigeria.

The agency made the disclosure recently, adding that the administration of the counterfeit antibiotics will pose a particular high risk to patients.

According to Pfizer, laboratory investigation of the Meronem vial content revealed no meropenem trihydrate but amoxicillin and saccharine.

Meropenem injection belongs to the category of drugs known as antibiotics. It functions by eradicating the infection-causing germs.

Meningitis, an infection of the membranes around the brain and spinal cord and skin and abdominal infections brought on by bacteria are treated with genuine Meronem (meropenem trihydrate injection) in adults and children older than 3 months.

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The agency gave details of the counterfeit Meronem as follows: Meronem 1g IV injection, manufactured by Pfizer, with batch number – 4A19G161, and manufacturing and expiry dates being 07/2020 and 06/2024 respectively. The active ingredient of the product is meropenem trihydrate.

Additionally, it was noted that the fake Meronem vial had an unusually coloured cap, without serial number at the vial’s neck, and foamed when the contents were reconstituted.

The genuine manufacturer of Meronem, stated that a check in their database indicated that the batch 4A19G161 is a legitimate batch for the Egyptian market but was manufactured on 03/2018 and bearing an expiry date of 02/2022.

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“Anyone in possession of the fake goods should throw them away and turn them into the nearby NAFDAC office.

“Healthcare professionals and individuals are reminded to only buy medical supplies from licensed and approved vendors. Before purchasing and using the items, they should be thoroughly examined for authenticity and physical condition.

“All importers, distributors, and retailers are urged to maintain supply chain vigilance and refrain from bringing in, selling, or otherwise dealing with fake Meronem IV injection and/or other fake and subpar pharmaceuticals,” the agency stated.

In addition, the agency advised the populace to seek immediate medical advice from a qualified healthcare professional if they have ever used the product, or you suffered an adverse reaction/event having used the product.

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